LGBTQ+ Divorce Questions? We Can Answer Them
At Skillern Firm, we understand that LGBTQ+ couples often worry about whether the legal aspects of divorce are different for same-sex marriages. The answer is typically no. LGBTQ+ couples may have some special considerations when divorcing, however. We will discuss your specific situation, answer your questions and let you know how the law will likely apply to your case.
Common Elements Of All Types Of Divorce
There are a few basic elements of divorce common to every married couple, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, including the following issues:
Division of property: Texas is a community property state, so the state presumes that assets and debts acquired during the marriage belong to the spouses equally. There are exceptions to this depending on whether the asset or debt is considered separate property. You need an experienced lawyer to protect your rights, so you are not unfairly saddled with debt and do not lose your rights to an asset that is yours.
Spousal maintenance: Texas does not automatically grant this in divorce. While there may be temporary maintenance during the divorce or contractual maintenance, long-term maintenance is less common, especially in marriages that last fewer than 10 years. This can be a complex issue with many factors involved.
Custody: Known as conservatorship, possession and access in Texas, child custody and visitation can be a contentious issue. It is typically best to work out a custody agreement in mediation because those will be tailored to your family’s specific circumstances. Having a judge make the decision is risky since he or she will not know much about your family.
Child support: This is the right of the child, but parents still fight over it in many cases. Whether you are the parent who will pay or receive child support, the amount needs to be fair and still sufficient to cover the child’s needs.
Considerations That Some LGBTQ+ Couples May Face
You and your spouse may have unique needs in divorce such as:
- Did you enter into a domestic partnership prior to getting married? If so, did you dissolve the partnership before marrying? Did you live together for many years before you married? Find out if this may affect property division or spousal maintenance.
- Are the children biologically related to one of you? Was a surrogate used? Are there legal documents in place such as adoption papers for the nonbiological parent(s)?
There may be other issues to manage, depending on the details of your relationship and marriage. Speaking with an attorney as soon as possible is a good idea.
We Understand All Your Concerns
Our caring, experienced family law attorneys can help you through all of your divorce and custody needs. We vigorously protect our clients’ rights and will take cases to trial when that is in the client’s best interests. Please call us at 281-990-4655 in Houston or complete our brief intake form to get started.